The World Health Organization has declared the Ebola outbreak an international health emergency.
WHO officials said a coordinated international response was essential to stop and reverse the spread of the virus.
The announcement came after experts convened a two-day emergency meeting in Switzerland.
So far more than 960 people have died from Ebola in West Africa this year.
The WHO said the outbreak was an “extraordinary event”.
“The possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious in view of the virulence of the virus,” the UN health agency said in a statement.
More than 1,700 cases of Ebola have been reported in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
WHO director-general Dr. Margaret Chan appealed for help for the countries hit by the “most complex outbreak in the four decades of this disease”.
Dr. Margaret Chan said there would be no general ban on international travel or trade.
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